Ukraine war: Russian air strikes cut power at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

Ukraine war: Russian air strikes cut power at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant

By Marita Moloney and Emily McGarveyBBC News 9 March 2023, 03:14 GMT

Updated 2 hours ago

video title,

Watch: Drone footage posted by Ukrainian official shows rubble of Lviv after Russian attack

At least nine people have been killed and power lost at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant after Russia fired missiles across Ukraine.

The attacks hit cities from Kharkiv in the north to Odesa in the south and Zhytomyr in the west.

Buildings and infrastructure were hit in Kharkiv and Odesa, with power outages in some areas. There are also reports of attacks in the capital Kiev.

Ukraine said Russia fired 81 missiles, in what is the biggest strike in a week.

The military claimed to have successfully shot down 34 cruise missiles and four of the eight Iranian-made Shahed drones that were shot down.

In Thursday’s attacks, at least five people were killed in Lviv in western Ukraine after a rocket hit their home, regional governor Maksym Kozytskyi said on Telegram.

Russian shelling killed three people in the southern city of Kherson, where a public transport station was hit, Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Andriy Yermak said.

One person died and two others were injured after drone and rocket attacks in the Dnipropetrovsk region, according to Governor Serhii Lysak.

Nuclear power operator Energoatom said a strike at the Zaporizhzhia plant meant the “last link” between the facility and the Ukrainian power system had been cut.

For the sixth time since it was taken over by Russia a year ago, the facility is now running on diesel generators, which have enough supplies to last at least 10 days.

The director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called for a commitment to protect the power plant’s safety, saying he was “surprised by the complacency” surrounding the back-to-back attacks since the occupation began.

“Every time we roll the dice. And if we let this go on time and time again, then one day our luck will run out,” said Rafael Grossi.

Officials installed by Russia in the Moscow-controlled part of Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia region said the ban on power supplies to the power plant from Ukrainian-held territory was “a provocation.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said it was “a difficult night” as Russia resumed its “wretched tactics”.

He said power systems were being restored and all services were working after the “massive” missile attack hit critical infrastructure and residential buildings.

In Kiev, emergency services are at the scene of explosions in the western and southern districts of the capital, where the mayor, Vitaly Klitschko, said the blasts had occurred.

Klitschko said cars were burning in the courtyard of an apartment building and he urged people to stay in shelters. Much of the city has been left without power, with four in 10 people without power, he added.

Image title,

People gathered outside an apartment building in Kiev after the strikes

A massive rocket attack hit an energy facility in the port city of Odesa, causing a power outage, its governor Maksym Marchenko said. Residential areas were also hit, but no casualties were reported, he added.

“About 15” attacks hit the city and Kharkiv region, with “critical infrastructure facilities” and a residential building targeted, regional administration chief Oleg Synegubov said.

Other affected regions include Vynnytsia and Rivne in the west, and Dnipro and Poltava in the center of the country.

Russian President Vladimir Putin began his occupation just over a year ago. Since then, tens of thousands of fighters and civilians have been killed or wounded, and millions of Ukrainians have become refugees.

US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines suggested on Wednesday that President Putin may be planning to drag out the war for years, but that Russia was not strong enough to launch major new offensives this year.

She said the war in Ukraine had turned into a “war of attrition in which neither side has a definitive military advantage”.

“We don’t foresee the Russian military recovering enough this year to make major territorial gains, but Putin is most likely counting the timing in his favor and that prolonging the war, including possible pauses in the fighting, could be his best way left to the end. securing Russia’s strategic interests in Ukraine, even if it takes years,” she said.

Image title,

Emergency workers took part in burning cars damaged by Russian rocket attacks in Kiev

Ms Haines said Russia could return to defending territories it now occupies, adding that it would need “compulsory mobilization and third-party ammunition sources” to support even its level of operations in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military says it has repelled intense Russian attacks on the eastern city of Bakhmut, despite Russian forces claiming to have taken control of its eastern half.

Moscow has been trying to get Bakhmut for months, as both sides suffer heavy losses in a devastating war.

“The enemy continued its attacks and has not shown any sign of a permission to attack the city of Bakhmut,” the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces said. “Our defenders repelled attacks on Bakhmut and surrounding communities.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *